The Masturbation Special

The Pleasure That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Masturbation has major taboos around it, doesn’t it – we bet you’ve never even spoken about it, not even with your bestie. And that’s OK – we’re not telling you to go wave the ‘I masturbate and I’m OK!’ flag at your school assembly. Because you’ve got nowhere to get reliable info on masturbation, we’ve devoted a whole sealed section to the pleasure that dare not speak its name. We’re not afraid to talk about it and hopefully one day neither will you! But until then, here’s everything and anything you wanted to know about masturbation (but were too afraid to ask).

What’s normal!?

We bet you’re dying to know how many girls masturbate, when they start and when they have their first orgasm, right? Well, unfortunately we can’t tell you – there is just no reliable research that exists! Think about it – the only way statistics can be gathered is through surveys and questionnaires and not everyone is gonna tell the truth on a topic as private as masturbation. There is no normal amount of times to masturbate, no normal age to start masturbating or no normal kind of orgasm. It will vary from girl to girl. Like the TV theme song of old, it takes different strokes to rule the world!

The Basics: Frequently Asked Questions

What is masturbation?

Stimulating your genitals, or other erogenous zones, in order to give yourself pleasure.

How do girls masturbate?

Most girls masturbate by rubbing their clitoris with the tips of their fingers until they have an orgasm.

When do girls start to masturbate?

Most start during or soon after puberty. But a few start before puberty, and more still don’t start masturbating until their late teens. Some girls never masturbate.

How often do girls masturbate?

It really depends! Some girls masturbate every day, some a few times a week, some once a month. If you’re stressed or worried you probably won’t feel like it as much, but if you have a new crush on someone or you’ve just seen a particularly sexy film, you might masturbate more regularly.

Why do girls masturbate?

Mostly cuz it’s fun and feels good. Masturbating at night can help you get to sleep and can also ease period pain. And the more you know about how to make yourself feel good, the better you’ll be able to communicate this to a partner.

Where do people masturbate?

Somewhere safe, comfortable and private, like in bed or in the bathroom.

If I masturbate, am I no longer a virgin?

No, the general definition of someone who is no longer a virgin is someone who has had sex with another person.

If I have a boyfriend will I stop masturbating?

You might, but a lot of people will masturbate even if they are seeing someone. It’s all part of a fulfilling sex life, and that doesn’t begin and end with sex with someone else!

How do boys masturbate?

Nearly all males form a loose fist around the erect penis and stroke in an up-and-down motion. Boys also ejaculate when they have an orgasm, which means sperm comes out of their penis. Most boys begin to ejaculate semen when they’re between the ages of 12 and 15, although some begin ejaculating at a later or earlier age.

Do all boys masturbate?

Yup, most of them! By their 15th birthdays, close to 100 percent of males have masturbated to orgasm.

Why do boys masturbate more than girls?

It’s a biological necessity for males to eliminate the sexual fluids their bodies produce – sperm have a 90-day life span. If a boy doesn’t have sex or masturbate for a while his body will take it upon itself to clear out the old sperm by giving him a wet dream – a sexy dream in which he ejaculates in his sleep. A lot of boys also wake up with an erect penis. They touch it, it feels good, and off they go.

What happens when you start to get aroused

•           Vaginal lubrication begins.

•           The inner two thirds of the vagina expands.

•           The uterus and cervix are pulled upwards.

•           The labia majora (outer lips) flatten and spread apart.

•           The labia minora (inner lips) increase in size.

•           The clitoris increases in size.

•           The nipples may become erect and breasts may increase in size.

•           When highly aroused the breasts may increase in size.

In simple terms, this will feel like your genitals are wet, tingly, slippery and tender, and will feel bigger and warmer. You’ll find everything more sensitive to touch, your breath will shorten and you’ll become focussed on sexual pleasure.

What is an Orgasm?

Describing an orgasm is as tricky as describing a yawn or a sneeze, but hey, we’ll do our best! An orgasm is the climax of sexual pleasure. Actually a sneeze isn’t a bad way to think about them: you start with a tickle in your nose, there’s a build up – ah, ah – and then POW! Ah-choo! You sneeze, and afterwards it feels nice, a relief.

An orgasm is a series of muscle contractions, made sensitive by blood rushing to the pelvic area. These contractions can be so powerful that your legs might shake or jerk, and you might moan or scream – but don’t worry it all feels really, really good!!!

But isn’t masturbation BAD?!

There are a lot of different reasons as to why you might feel guilty, bad or dirty when you masturbate. Masturbation used to have massive social taboos around it in centuries past, relating to the ideas that men were ‘wasting’ their sperm and it was immature and sinful. It was thought that masturbation made women feeble, weak and eventually insane! In the 19th century parents even used to tie their children’s hands down in bed to prevent them from masturbating. While it is now known that there is nothing dangerous, sinful, wasteful or immature about masturbating, because it is something that is not openly discussed, there is still something of a social taboo existing around it, which is perpetuated by messages in TV and film, and peer pressure. The reality is, understanding your body and what makes you feel good is empowering. Your sexuality is yours alone, and is something to be played with and to be enjoyed. If you choose to masturbate, you are choosing to enjoy and explore your sexuality. Rethink any negative hang-ups you have about masturbation and work out where they are coming from. You have every right to masturbate!!

Safety First!

Always make sure your hands are clean. Trim your nails. It’s best to not insert anything into your vagina until you’ve been masturbating with your hands for a few years and you know exactly what you’re doing. Be sensible – don’t put anything into your VG that you wouldn’t put in your mouth.

What’s THAT?!

Dildo: A dildo is an object shaped like a penis. Women usually use dildos by repeatedly inserting them into their vagina, to simulate sex.

Vibrator: A vibrator is an electric appliance that vibrates with an electric current, usually used on the vulva (clitoris and labia), placed against clitoris or inside the vagina.

Most women buy these “sex toys” from sex stores or online, but you have to be 18 years or older!


Masturbation has been observed in every species of mammal on the planet!

Flick Your Switch: How To Masturbate for the First Time

Remember, you don’t have to masturbate if you don’t want to. There is no right or wrong age to masturbate. But for those of you who want to experiment with your sexual pleasure – read on!

  1. First of all, make sure you will absolutely, definitely won’t be disturbed. Unless you’re doing it with a partner during sex, masturbation is a private activity. Lock your door or if you can’t do that, wait until it’s late at night or at a time when no one is home.
  2. It’s important you feel relaxed, so try starting with a nice warm bath. Wash your whole body gently all over. Start to recognise which parts or your body react more to your touch than others, like your feet, your breasts and nipples, your stomach, the inside of your thighs and of course, your genitals!
  3. Dry off and lie on your bed. Continue to enjoy touching your body, paying extra attention to the parts that give you pleasure. Let your mind wander to thoughts you find exciting. You might think about someone you have a crush one, like someone at school or a spunky movie star.
  4. Gradually let your fingers slip down between your legs. Notice if your vagina is wet or not. Start to explore your clitoris, labia and vulva with your fingers – see if you can tell what’s what from the pictures we’ve printed. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. For example, some women like to touch their breasts while they masturbate, some don’t.
  5. If you feel like it, slip your fingers very gently into your vagina. Try tightening the muscles around your fingers and then releasing it. Some girls won’t like this feeling, especially if you’re not sexually aroused enough, but some girls might find this is a key part of masturbating and having an orgasm.
  6. Slowly start circling the area where your clitoris is. Try applying pressure to it, and slowly start rubbing it. Work out what feels the best for you.
  7. As you continue rubbing your clitoris, you might find that you are building to a sudden wave of pleasure that feels sort of explosive and climatic. That’s an orgasm! Alternatively, you just might feel that you enjoy the feeling but you don’t think you’ve had one. That’s OK; it’s just important you feel good, safe and happy. An orgasm shouldn’t be the goal of masturbation: you can just enjoy the pleasure you get from exploring your sexuality – having an orgasm may or may not be a part of this. But if you continue touching yourself and masturbating, you will probably have one eventually! Don’t rush it or overthink it, just enjoy it!

Girls on Film

The most famous representation of the big O is a scene in When Harry Met Sally, where Meg Ryan’s character simulates having an orgasm in a café. The orgasms you have from masturbating probably won’t be this, uh, dramatic, which is because orgasms you have during sex are likely to be more intense than the ones you masturbating.

Dr Sally Coburn Answers the Tough Questions!!

Q. I can only achieve orgasm masturbating, not during sex with my BF, what’s wrong with me?

A. Nothing is wrong with you. It’s not uncommon for women to never achieve orgasm during vaginal penetration. The best position for achieving it during sex is either woman on top where she manoeuvres herself into a position where she can stimulate her clitoris by friction on his pubic bone. Or man behind where she can reach under and stimulate her own clitoris. Basically man on top is difficult to achieve enough clitoral stimulation.

Q. What actually makes a penis or clitoris hard it feels like bone?

A. Penises and clitorises are specialised organs that are made up of erectile tissue. This tissue is capable of filling up with blood and swelling up to become firm while holding the escape route firmly closed until orgasm when the blood rushes out and the tissue becomes soft again.

Q. I think I came close to an orgasm once but it felt like I was going to pee the bed so I am scared to try again. Help!

A. This is a very common complaint and I think you’ll find it was more that you were about to orgasm. My advice is, empty your bladder before you start, get a towel and lie on it. Not because I think it’s going to happen, but more to stop you worrying. Then let yourself go and you’ll see you had nothing to worry about.

Georgia Clark



About Georgia

I'm a young adult novelist with a weakness for hot nerds and cheese platters, not necessarily in that order. I am currently working on my third novel. I'm pretty excited about having just turned 30 because it means I can justify spending a lot of time thinking about homewares.
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